Are you still using different applications to communicate with team members and clients? If so, you are missing out on a golden opportunity to streamline your communications and simplify your office. A unified messaging app provides a single point of contact for all your communication needs.

Here’s what you should know.

What Is a Unified Messaging Application?

Unified messaging brings all your communications together under a single hub. Emails and faxes, as well as voicemails and text messages, all go to the same inbox. This makes it easier and faster to keep up with communications.

A unified messaging application takes this system to the next level. It facilitates real-time communication between team members, clients and collaborators throughout your organization. You can share content across various platforms and devices. This lets everyone join in regardless of how they choose to connect.

Importance of a Unified Messaging App

In many organizations, different teams work in different apps. This provides each team with the functionality it needs. Unfortunately, it makes it tough to share content with other teams or even with clients. Team members waste time moving back and forth between different forms of communication.

Productivity can suffer. Both clients and team members can start to feel frustrated as they get lost in a sea of communications. People can easily miss vital messages. This makes it more likely that revisions will be needed.

A unified messaging app solves these problems. You can link teams, applications and platforms together. This allows everyone involved in a project to share information. Conversations flow more freely. Everyone can keep up with the latest details and contribute their thoughts. Communication happens in real time. Productivity goes up. No one ends up left out of important conversations.

Key Features of a Unified Messaging Application

According to Research and Markets, the global unified communications market is projected to reach $167.1 billion by 2025. Unified messaging applications are an important part of this growth.

Important features to look for in a unified messaging app include:

  • Voice, text, email and fax integration: Unified messaging systems bring all points of communication into a single hub. Your unified messaging app should provide the same easy access to voicemails, texts, emails and faxes.
  • Cross-platform capability: A good unified messaging application makes it easy to share documents and files. It doesn't matter which platforms team members or clients prefer.
  • Real-time communication: One of the most useful features of a unified messaging application is the ability to communicate in real time. No matter where team members and clients are, they don't need to wait for emails or camp out next to a fax machine.
  • Presence: A strong unified messaging application lets users establish a virtual presence. This means that other users know at a glance whether someone is available or not. This feature is especially important in tasks such as sales, when a closer may be needed to seal the deal. It can also keep any team running more smoothly. Team members don’t have to guess whether someone is in their office at any given time.

Benefits of a Unified Messaging Application

Communication is essential to team building, project management and productivity. A unified messaging app streamlines communication and enhances collaboration. It improves morale and ensures that no one is left out of the loop. It also gives team members a sense of ownership in their projects and reduces wasted time.

Other benefits of a unified messaging application include:

  • Single experience: A unified messaging app is a seamless part of your unified messaging system. All types of communication come to a single inbox. This makes it easier to keep up with different conversations.
  • Cross-app connection: A unified messaging application uses a single interface. Real-time collaboration is available across different communication apps and platforms. Team members don’t need to download a bunch of apps and learn to use them. Instead, they can communicate from within their preferred systems.
  • Global directory: A global directory allows any employee to instantly connect with another, no matter what team they’re on. There’s no need to send invites or manually add people to teams.
  • Efficiency: Communication is more efficient when team members have access to all their communications. They also have the ability to share as desired. All team members have access to communication logs. This helps ensure accuracy and cut down on project errors.
  • Cost savings: Streamlining communications into a single interface lets you cut costs. You don't have to invest in different communication solutions. You can keep your system administration team lean and agile. This frees up money to invest in other areas of your business.
  • Anywhere access: Your team members can use the unified messaging app from anywhere. All they need is a high-speed internet connection. They can also choose how to access different types of communications. For example, they can have voicemails sent to email or have emails read aloud over the phone. The app works on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Team members can check in from their favorite devices.

Examples of Unified Messaging Apps

There are many unified messaging apps on the market today. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Disa
  • IM+
  • BlackBerry Hub
  • Snowball
  • WhatsApp

All unified messaging apps offer their own distinct features. Each has its own limitations as well. The best unified messaging app integrates with your unified messaging system. It also works well with your VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone plan. It should provide full cross-platform functionality.

The goal is to make real-time communication easy. It doesn't matter which devices, apps and programs your team members prefer to use.

Why Choose the 8x8 Unified Messaging App

8x8 Team Messaging is one of the most commonly used unified messaging apps. It offers quite a few benefits that make it a smart choice for businesses of all sizes. These include:

  • Built for collaboration: You can work within teams, across teams or with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Organization: 8x8 Team Messaging keeps conversations organized by topic and workgroup. Everyone can contribute without communications dissolving into an incoherent flurry of unrelated messages.
  • Public and private chat options: Not everyone needs to be part of every conversation. Private chat rooms give workgroups a place to talk about sensitive information. They can also use technical jargon without fear of confusing other members of the group. Public chat rooms let everyone involved in a project take part in open dialogue.
  • Follow and unfollow capabilities: Some people only need to get involved in a specific discussion for a limited amount of time. Your team members don't need to get bogged down in high-volume conversations that don’t pertain to them. Instead, they are free to follow and unfollow chats as desired.
  • Tagging: If you need to make sure someone sees a specific thread, use the @ symbol to tag them. This allows you to keep the conversation public. You don't need to worry that someone important will miss it.
  • Intuitive interface: There is no steep learning curve. The 8x8 Team Messaging app works like regular consumer messaging apps. Most employees are already familiar with these apps. It generally takes a few minutes for employees to install the app, figure out how to use it and get back to work.
  • Seamless integration: The 8x8 Team Messaging application is designed to work with your 8x8 VoIP phone and plan.
  • Scalability: The app is easy to scale as your company grows. It doesn't matter if you have a small business with 10 employees or an enterprise-level organization with more than 10,000. The 8x8 Team Messaging app is fully customizable to meet your needs.
  • Mobile optimization: The app is optimized for mobile devices. As you move from desktop computer to laptop to tablet to mobile phone, your dashboard goes with you. Whichever devices you and your team members use, you will always be able to connect with your teammates and clients. You just need a high-speed internet connection.

Your business needs every cog in your machine to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Unified Communications platform, your business gets the unified messaging it needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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